Thursday, February 06, 2014

Craziest Winter Ever--Snow Again


This winter is nuts.  Two snow events in the valley?  We never get snow here.  Never say never.

And just like during the last event, my car broke down.

Last time, my car wouldn't start.  I finally got a ride to a store and bought the car a shiny new battery.  Then my car would start.

This time,  the car has started making a deep grinding noise, after turning the key and just after the car starts.  The car does start, but there's that grind just after, as I let loose the key.  At first I panicked and thought "Oh shit, I've got a cat in the engine compartment."  I jump out, open the hood, heart pounding, expecting fur and maybe pieces of tail, perhaps lots of blood.

Nothing.  Engine's humming, clean, and beautiful (maybe I'm prejudiced).

I shut off the engine and think, ok, it was an anomaly, just one of those freakish noises that I'll never hear again.  I turn the key, and, hear it again.  The sound is what I think a robotic cat might sound like if coughing out a hairball.

By this time, I'm mentally counting any money I might have stashed anywhere, even down in my car seats,  that could go towards fixing whatever is now wrong.  I need my car.  I come home, and turn to the web for answers.  Guess it's likely the starter or something associated.  Spent last night reading about starters and solenoids and flex plates and ring gears.

I don't want it ground off teeth on the ring gear, apparently that would be the worst.  That means taking out the transmission to replace it.  That would be very very bad (expensive).

 I guess I shouldn't drive it, because it may not start somewhere, and also, I am further damaging the starter, or, ring gear teeth.

On a much happier note.....

Slinko now has a facebook page.  I made it for him to help him find that perfect home.
This is a link to Slinko's page! Go "like" and share!

When Slinko was still pretending to be feral, he buddied up out in the cat yard with Sam as his friend.

Slinko naps before his usual full night of mayhem.
Always Innocent Sam

Now the snow is a blizzard.  One tv news station says 9 inches possible for our area, another says 5 inches.  It's all supposed to be over, no matter who is right, by Sunday.  The snow is doing wonders for my antenna TV reception.  Last night I could not even get one channel that didn't pixelize out all the time.  This morning, I am getting four different channels!  I like it, getting spoiled rotten.
How strange it is I've adjusted so quickly to life without much TV.  If a channel is coming in, fine. If not, I shrug.  Big deal.   Wow.  I wonder what else I could live without.

Keep checking back if you want snow photo updates.  It's getting deeper out there, a fine dry pellet snow, being wind driven.

The car problem is the starter pinion not disengaging after its starts in timely fashion from the ring gear.  Old age and joint corrosion.  My car needs health insurance!  My brother told me on the phone the ring gear is probably ok because they make the pinion teeth on the starter softer, so they will sacrifice first, rather than the ring gear, which is a serious repair to replace.

I'm looking in there with a light, following the battery cable down into the depths of the engine compartment, trying to spot the starter, see if it is something I might access and change.   I couldn't see it.  It's below hoses and the air filter assembly is crammed above it.  Would need to remove all the hoses, the air filter assembly, the battery, to even get to it.

My brother is astonished Albany is a mess in snow, with big wreck pile ups now on both the interstate north lanes and south lanes, near Albany.  The south lanes pile up involves at least 20 cars, the state police said.  Now chains are required to travel in this county on the interstate.  My brother checked ODOT road cams and highways are clear south of Eugene and just north of Albany.  In some places, looks clear as summer, he said, until you check out this area's road cams.  He never heard it was coming and I didn't either, which is partly from not watching news on a regular basis.  Guess I should get better about that.

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